I currently work for The Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention Council of Saratoga County as the youth outreach coordinator, partnering with the New York Council on Problem Gambling on the You(th) Decide Project. I’m writing to express my concern regarding media literacy.
Despite the fact that gambling is illegal for anyone under the age of 18, approximately 68 percent of American youth between the ages of 14 and 21 report having gambled in the last year.
Media could be one of the reasons why so many kids are gambling. Media is all around us. We receive messages through television, radio, billboards, print publications, the internet and many other ways.
Gambling is usually shown as exciting, fun and a way to financial freedom, while stories of gambling addiction and related loss of large sums of money, jobs and relationships too often go untold.
When you are watching a movie or TV show, looking at a magazine or website, pay close attention to the messages that are being sent. Who are they targeting? What are they trying to entice that person to do or to buy? Are the messages realistic? Are they telling you the whole story?
Don’t let advertisers determine who you are and what you do.
Know all the facts before you decide.